Following the vivid electronic experiments of her debut record Fullmoon (Relative Pitch), voted #2 for Best Records of 2018 by Jazz Right Now and hailed as “spellbinding” (NPR), Steph Richards follows up with Take The Neon Lights (birdwatcher Arts). Conceived as a lyric poem to New York City, her compositions are an arresting exploration of spontaneous prose, woven with grit and brilliance. Titles are named from poems that similarly evoke the city by literary icons Maya Angelou, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg with the title track of set to Langston Hughes’ JukeBox Love Song. Richards leads an acoustic quartet that oscillates between dense complex structures and expansively vulnerable improvisations. Featuring pianist James Carney, bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Andrew Munsey Take The Neon Lights reflects the ugly beauty of the city for which it is dedicated to.
Steph Richards has steadily established herself as “one of the most engaging experimentalists” (Free Jazz Collective), having recorded with pioneering artists ranging from Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton and John Zorn to Yoko Ono, David Byrne and St. Vincent. She has also collaborated with performance artists Mike Kelly and Laurie Anderson. Her compositions have been featured on stages at Carnegie Hall, the Blue-note NYC and Lincoln Center and she continues to conduct ensembles with Butch Morris’ Conduction language. Richards is a Yamaha artist.
Stephanie Richards (trumpet, flugelhorn, compositions)
James Carney (piano)
Sam Minaie (bass)
Andrew Munsey (drums)
Recorded at Tedesco Studios, NJ.
Mixing and Mastering by Andrew Munsey
Co-produced, Stephanie Richards and Andrew Munsey.
Photography: Chris Weiss
Graphic Design: Aaron Vinton